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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 58-62

Visual impairment among 10–14-year school children in Puducherry: A cross-sectional study

1 Base Hospital, Delhi Cantonment, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Kalapet, Puducherry, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, ACS Medical College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Department of Ophthalmology, Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences, Kalapet, Puducherry, India
5 Department of Community Medicine, Believers Church Medical College, Thiruvalla, Kerala, India
6 Department of Community Medicine, Sri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research institution, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
R Vishnuprasad
Base Hospital, Delhi Cantonment, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.214983

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Introduction: According to the 2010 estimates by the World Health Organization, nearly 285 million (4.24% of total population) people of all ages worldwide are visually impaired. Almost 18.9 million children under 15 years of age are visually impaired globally. In developing countries, 7%–31% of childhood blindness and visual impairment is avoidable. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted as a cross-sectional study among 1884 school students in Puducherry, in the age group of 10–14 years. A child with presenting maximum vision ≤6/12 Snellen equivalent in the better eye is considered visually impaired. Data were entered in Microsoft Excel 2013 and analyzed using the statistical software SPSS version 21.0. Chi-square test was applied for testing difference in proportion and a P< 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The overall prevalence of visual impairment (vision ≤6/12) among the study participants was 6.37% (95% confidence interval = 5.27–7.47). The prevalence of visual impairment increased with age and it was found to be high among male students (6.6%) when compared to female students (6%). Presenting vision of 6/6 was observed in 79.8% of the children while with pinhole correction, the proportion increased to 94.6%. Conclusion: The prevalence of visual impairment in our study population was found to be 6.37% and the prevalence was even higher among children who belonged to schools of urban region or private schools. Children with a positive family history of spectacle use were more likely to have visual impairment.

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